John E. Knodel photo

Breastfeeding Trends, Patterns and Policies in Thailand

Publication Abstract

Knodel, John E., Napaporn Chayovan, and Kua Wongboonsin. 1990. "Breastfeeding Trends, Patterns and Policies in Thailand." Asia-Pacific Population Journal, 5(1): 135-50.

The decline in the duration of breast-feeding in Thailand evident during the 1970s has come largely to a standstill in the 1980s. In addition, the proportion initiating breast-feeding was high throughout the period and has recently increased to the point where, at the national level, it is now close to universal. These changes in breast-feeding trends coincide with a variety of efforts, primarily undertaken or co- ordinated by the Ministry of Public Health, to promote breast-feeding and discourage the use of breast-milk substitutes. While substantial socio-economic differentials still exist with respect to the duration of breast-feeding, initiation is common even among the groups that breast-feed their babies for the shortest period of time. Breast-fed children are commonly given supplemental foods or liquids at very early ages. Thus, the duration of full breast- feeding is far shorter than of overall breast-feeding.

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